17th January

With the Annual General Meeting fast approaching it is an opportune moment to remind members that their 2014 subscriptions are due. Among those already received are four new applications. The first was from Anne Marie Cross of Swansea. She has joined in memory of her late father Cyril Cross who was a member in the 1950’s and often spoke of the good times he enjoyed. He is clearly remembered by Gwyn Humphreys and others who also rode during those years. The other three are all from the upper Rhondda and are Rory Jenkins of Treorchy, Tom Stoddart of Cwmparc and Thomas Stoddart of Treherbert. Having to already cope with the likes of Tony Rees and Kevin Stoddart, maybe we should keep a close eye on all these members from the upper reaches of the valley because the Club minutes for 7th May 1935 state :

Rowdyism at Ynysmaerdy.

“ Complaints regarding rowdyism at Ynysmaerdy have been reported to the Hon Secretary who was informed that the offenders were members of the Upper Rhondda Sections of the National Clarion Cycling Club. It was resolved that the secretaries of the sections be informed of complaints made to us by the residents of Ynysmaerdy regarding rowdyism and bad language in the locality on Sunday morning the 5th May”

[ This appears to be the day of our open 25 mile time trial which finished at Ynysmaerdy, alongside what is now the site of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. ]


Seriously, we offer a warm welcome to our new members and look forward to meeting up with them at the clubroom and on the road.

Present among the group at the clubroom last Friday was Ross Morgan, complete with crutches. Recovering from a bone graft to his knee he was keen to be amongst his riding partners again and was kindly chauffered by Chris Thomas. He did, however, refuse to use the chair lift, saying that ” I’m not an old man yet. ” If only some of us could say the same !

Omitted from the report of the Awards at the Christmas Dinner was the name of Steve Bennett. He was unable to attend the dinner and collect his trophies as 10 mile Time Trial Champion and Road Race Champion. Steve has always been a very good short distance time triallist and in recent years has enjoyed mixing -in some road and circuit racing. As reported previously, he gained enough points last season to become a 2nd Category rider, the only one we have currently. Steve has taken part in a number of the Sunday group training rides, allowing our younger riders to get to know him and gain from his knowledge. He will, no doubt, continue to show his ability again in the coming season’s races where it is expected he will be accompanied by a larger Acme group than for many years.

With the first of the 2014 Reliability Rides nearly upon us, Dan Taylor has asked how they came into being. They became popular with all clubs before the advent of bicycle computers and were intended to test the ability of riders to judge their pacing and complete the distance within their allocated time. There was a small window to aim for so you could not arrive too long before the correct finishing time either or you would fail to get a certificate. For a long period, the distances were 50 miles and 100 miles in our club with a 75 mile version added later. The clubrun distances built up gradually to these distances and were an important part of building a good aerobic base before the racing season.

The earliest record of such a ride in the Minute Book is in 1933 when a request was made for a 100 miles in 8 hours Tourist Trial and 24 hour Tourist Trial be held for Club members. The 24 hour event never took place but the 100 in 8 was run on 24th June 1934. The entrance fee was 2/6d [ 2 shillings and 6 pence ] which included two “ light snacks” . The event started at 10 am and no double gents tandems were allowed, only mixed couples, with certificates to be given to successful participants.

The course was : Porth Square / Merthyr/ Brecon ( 1st snack and check)/ Bwlch/ Abergavenny/ Usk ( 2nd snack and check)/ Newport/ Cardiff ( Kingsway check)/ Treforest/ to finish at Merlin Bridge, Pontypridd.

18 certificates for the event were subsequently ordered from a printer.

It would still be a tough ride today and when you consider the equipment and roads in those days …!

6th January

The Christmas Dinner and Presentation Evening went ahead on Saturday 14th December due to the determination of Tony Rees, seen here accepting his award for second place in the 5 mile Time Trial Series. Held at ‘The Colliers’ in Porth, it was great to see the event strongly supported by members and their families on what is an important occasion in the Club calendar.

After an excellent three course meal the following Club Champions were awarded with their trophies by our President, Gerald Clements.

25 mile Time Trial Neale Lewis

30 mile Time Trial Dan Taylor

50 mile Time Trial Gary Flower

100 mile Time Trial Gary Flower

Short Distance BAR Dan Taylor

Hill Climb Ethan Derrick

Cyclo Cross Dan Taylor

Criterium Evan Rickards

Criterium Freddy Rickards

Hill Climb Series 1st Paul Harries ; 2nd Ethan Derrick.

It was wonderful to have Judith and David Thomas at the dinner to see Ethan Derrick receive the Dudley Thomas Memorial Trophy for his win in the 5 mile Time Trial Series. In 2nd place was Tony Rees and 3rd was Paul Harries.

ClubTime Trial Standard Awards were made to Steve Williams, Dai Long, Dan Taylor and Gary Flower.

The 2013 Clubman of the Year Award was given to Dave Roberts for his loyalty and commitment to the Club throughout 2013. Due to an injury he has not ridden during 2013 but hopefully he will make a comeback this year.

Following the formal presentation things became less serious as a number of “deserving cases” were awarded with the usual ‘novelty prizes’.

The Club would like to thank Kay and her staff at ‘The Colliers’ for their hospitality,service and great home-cooked food !

Members will be pleased to hear that Ross is now home from hospital and will need a couple of months recovery before riding once again. During the accident caused by a car braking violently to avoid a head-on collision, Ross landed on his knee which was forced backward, damaging bone which requires a graft. He feels everyone should be aware of the benefit of wearing a helmet which was smashed when his head hit the curb. The result could have been a lot more serious.

Photos from the Dinner can be viewed in the Photo Gallery.

4th January

Happy New Year to all our members. The weather has not been the best for cycling during the holiday period but a group ride wasplanned this morning to take advantage of the few hours of drier and less windy conditions. One member who was unfortunately unable to take part is Ross Morgan who collided with a car on New Year’s Eve and was admitted to hospital with a broken leg. We all wish you a speedy recovery, Ross and look forward to seeing you back on your bike. To help cheer you up in the meantime, here is a photo of your grandad, Neville Yeo, taken in the 1950’s when the usual racing attire was a racing cap turned back to front for better aerodynamics, woollen shorts which tended to become baggy with age [especially if it rained!], and a woollen racing vest with the same qualities. Note the fixed gear and single, front brake although the hood section of a second lever was sometimes fitted, as here, to grip while riding in a more upright position, especially when riding hill climb events. The rear wheel usually had a larger sprocket on the other side for use when riding to and from the race unless you had carried spare wheels. The large flange hubs were a favourite as they shortened the spoke length, making the wheel stiffer. No radial spoking in those days. The bell was an essential, being required by law and time trial rules. This one was again a favourite, being made of aluminium for lightness with a spring loaded arm which made a single strike against the bell. Not very effective but legal.

The clubroom will be open from 7-9 pm on Friday 10th January and the regulars would enjoy seeing you there for a chat and cup of tea.

The Annual General Meeting will be held in the clubroom on 31st January and any items for the agenda should be presented to Hon. Secretary, Mark Nicholls before the 16th January.